Home > House and Home > Retirement Villages

Retirement Villages

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 9 May 2013 | comments*Discuss
 
Retirement Retirement Village

The concept of the retirement village has been quite widespread in America for years, but it's only recently spread to Britain. These days you can find several across the country, often in rural locations that are still quite accessible to cities. They offer independent living, but in a small community of similarly-aged people (invariably 55+), in modern housing that are designed for the elderly, and with care readily at hand.

The Advantages of Retirement Villages

There's the combination of independence and security, with the opportunity to still lead an active life with a sense of community. The villages often have organised activities most evenings, in addition to shopping trips during the day. In many cases the residents organise their own clubs and activities, so there's no feeling of restriction.

The housing, which ranges from studio apartments to houses, is specifically designed for the elderly. Often, for example, plugs are higher on the wall, eliminating the need to bend down, and bathrooms will come with rails for bath and toilet. Houses will often have the main bedroom on the ground floor, so there's no need to cope with stairs on a regular basis.

Being barrier-free and efficiently heated, the village environment removes many of the difficulties and dangers of living in inappropriate accommodation, especially the risk of falls. Additionally, it's easy to effectively target residents for health promotion initiatives such as exercise programmes and flu vaccinations. Larger schemes offer greater opportunities to provide health and exercise facilities, ranging from 'fun' exercise like dancing groups, to that geared to those with particular health difficulties. On-site catering services can promote healthy eating, and attend to particular dietary requirements, as well as ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to eat a meal that is both hot and nutritious every day.

Residents can be assisted by flexible care services which are provided on-site, as their care needs change, and may reduce the need for hospital admission and promote early hospital discharge. For those who need a little more care, serviced apartments are generally available, where a cleaner comes in to tidy on a regular basis, and meals are available to be delivered.

The villages are of a manageable size, generally running from 100-300 dwellings. They attract a range of people from different backgrounds, which promotes diversity. Although most are privately owned and run, some are also run by housing associations and housing trusts (the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust was a pioneer in this field).

One myth about retirement villages is that they're child-free zones. It's true that the residents are all older, but they're free to have guests, including children, although there's usually a time limit on the stay.

The Disadvantages of Retirement Villages

For those used to their own houses and gardens, there might seem to be a loss of personal space as there are no individual gardens. However, most developments are set in rolling, open countryside, so there's plenty of lawn space and nature to enjoy, with easy walking around the village.

One concern for potential residents is the service charges. It's true that the more services offered by a facility, the greater the monthly service charge that has to be paid. But that's true anywhere and a retirement village offers a great deal more security than living in the community. The Association of Retirement Housing Managers code of practice covers how the service charges are made.

Most properties, at least in private retirement villages, are sold, rather than rented. They're generally a sound investment however if a development is successfully established, ask about resale values. For leasehold properties you may require a licence, or have something written into the lease that proscribes who they can be sold on to - usually in terms of age or care needs. Often, traditional retirement villages operate a system to buy back your property if you have to sell and the value of the property has decreased, usually at 95 to 100 per cent of the original price. There will be a levy payable to the management company if the value of your property increases and you sell on the open market.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I would like to find out if you can rent properties inany retirment villages as we dont own our home we rent it but we are looking to move and I always thought about a retirement village,also if peolpe can rent would they also be allowed to apply for Housing and Council Tax benefit as both myself and my wife are retired at present we do get the benefits.in this rented property.I hope you will be able to answer this question or advise me how to go about finding out about it.Thank You Roy
Cuddles - 9-May-13 @ 1:53 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • Judith
    Re: Clubs to Join in Retirement
    Are there any activities or groups currently taking place in Wakefield for over 60’s. I am a social person missing human company.
    7 October 2020
  • Brenda
    Re: Clubs to Join in Retirement
    Very young 75 year old looking for friends for days out and meals etc. In my area. I am a twin she is also on her own. Young at…
    7 October 2020
  • Fancy
    Re: Clubs to Join in Retirement
    Widowed over 2 half years but nice to socialise again
    29 September 2020
  • Wendy
    Re: Clubs to Join in Retirement
    I'm 63 and still working but love walking, swimming & days out. I drive & am happy to travel. I'd love to have a friend to walk or…
    23 September 2020
  • hillmill
    Re: Clubs to Join in Retirement
    Hi, I recently lost my husband and I am looking for companions that would like to meet up and maybe do day trips and coffee meet…
    21 September 2020
  • Jeanne
    Re: Clubs to Join in Retirement
    I have recently moved to Long Buckby Northamptonshire living with my Son and family, I would love to have female friend to chat to…
    16 September 2020
  • Shylady
    Re: Clubs to Join in Retirement
    I am a young 71 year old and lost my husband last year am looking for someone who has the same interests and would enjoy my…
    14 September 2020
  • Dolly
    Re: Clubs to Join in Retirement
    I am a 68 year old lady I have just lost my beloved husband due to the virus he was 71 and in good health so it was very sudden I…
    13 September 2020
  • Weebilly1
    Re: Travel Concessions for Over 60s
    I'm am on my pension I'm 67 years old and can i get a train ticket for a year
    12 September 2020
  • Trish
    Re: Clubs to Join in Retirement
    I am a young at heart 81 year old, lives in Paignton and wonder whether there is anyone out there who would like some occasional…
    11 September 2020